All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 19-07-2010, 06:30 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 7,002
slitchfield is on a distinguished road
Defining the Smartphone

In leaps and bounds, the term 'smartphone' is being bandied about by manufacturers, analysts, journalists, developers and end users across the world. Which would normally be a good thing, except that there are many definitions, all totally different. What exactly defines a smartphone in 2010? What did it used to mean in 2007? Or 2003? With reports regularly quoting the word, it would be good to all agree what the word means, surely?

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 19-07-2010, 07:06 AM
Kazutoyo Kazutoyo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 171
Kazutoyo is on a distinguished road
For me it's always been the first definition. A smartphone for me is a device that can run native applications (not java or flash apps).

  #3  
Old 19-07-2010, 07:08 AM
adi_pie adi_pie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 31
adi_pie is on a distinguished road
I agree with your definition, Steve, but I disagree that a smartphone "is permanently connected to the Internet", I think it should be more like "can be permanently connected to the Internet", sure I'm nit-picky, but discussing how we should call our phones is similarly nit-picky.

  #4  
Old 19-07-2010, 07:21 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Good article Steve. If I may go further. Maybe smartphone is no longer the correct term to use but rather "smart device". The basic functions have blurred with Internet connectivity and data consumption being equally as important as telephony functions. I would gladly say that a few years ago the basic function of the smartphone was to make calls and provide ancillary functions while now the new paradigm is to provide video capture/playback, Internet functions, as well as making and receiving calls. People now place their particular desires ahead of the defining definitions of a device. With this in mind, the iPad can be considered a smartphone because of its ability to make and receive phone calls, albeit with specifically designed applications, but calls can be made none the less.

Just a thought.

  #5  
Old 19-07-2010, 08:28 AM
Ewan's Avatar
Ewan Ewan is offline
Ye Olde Administratorium
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 2,988
Ewan is a splendid one to beholdEwan is a splendid one to beholdEwan is a splendid one to beholdEwan is a splendid one to beholdEwan is a splendid one to beholdEwan is a splendid one to behold
Just to throw a wee bit of historical "oil" onto the debate - there's no reasons the 9000, 9000i and the early GeOS powered communicators should not be labelled smartphones.

You could write third party apps in C++ (there as a great Snake game, and I'm pretty sure an alternative fax/image viewer was available), you had PC connctivty, it was significantly ahead of ohter phones, the bundling of a "Terminal" lient and data connection was (and still is) one of the best mobile sysadmin solutions... GeOS was a multiplatform OS, it powered the Casio Zoomer (and the built in apps there were coded by the team who went on to write the Palm Computing Pilot OS).

For the time, the 9000 Communicator ticks every single box, Steve ;-)
__________________
-- Ewan Spence, ewanspence@gmail.com
--
-- Online: www.ewanspence.com
-- Twitter: @ewan
Ads

  #6  
Old 19-07-2010, 08:37 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There is continued variation right from basic handsets that can so voice and messaging right up to devices like the N900. Where anybody chooses to place a line to demarcate any class of device is largely abitrary and for the most part inconsequential. I don't think it really matters a great deal.

  #7  
Old 19-07-2010, 08:39 AM
j d j d is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 33
j d is on a distinguished road
i know it

To paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart from the US Supreme court:

I shall not attempt to define what a smartphone is, but I know one when I see one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_know_it_when_I_see_it

  #8  
Old 19-07-2010, 09:37 AM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Definition 5b: A smartphone is always connected and can browse the full Internet

So only the N900 is now a smartphone?

  #9  
Old 19-07-2010, 09:42 AM
cirrus's Avatar
cirrus cirrus is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 53
cirrus is on a distinguished road
Why do we need a definition in the first place?

Interesting article Steve. It pretty much aligns with what I've been thinking for a while now: All the "smartphone" defiintions have flaws and are a bit woolly. :-)

In one sense, all are "phones". Clearly, high-end phones are more advanced and useful than low-end ones (duh!). However, as you have pointed out - what is now "high end" will be "low end" soon enough. (I think you'll find even the lowest-end, 20 phones have HW specs that will compare quite favourably with early "smartphones" like the Nokia 7650)

To be honest, I wonder whether we need these distinctions at all. I think they have always been a bit of a marketing gimmick to make high end phones seem more special. "This is no ordinary phone, this is a smart phone!". Back in the early days, the ability to install apps was a sufficiently big differentiator to justify separating those phones into a class of their own. However, with non-smartphones gaining the ability to run stuff like Java, Flash and HTML5 that distinction has long since vanished (and don't get me started on the "it's only smart if it's native apps" because BlackBerry only runs Java apps which traditionally don't count as native and yet everyone classes them as "smartphones". Even Android apps are mostly a variation on Java (though I believe they have now added some support for "native" apps too))

Looking at the definitions Steve lists, I think they have gotten increasingly weak and desperate sounding over time. "It has a QWERTY" or "It's screen is bigger than X" sounds like companies clutching at straws to find some stand-out feature that makes their phone "smart" and others not-so-smart. What are they afraid of? Probably the fact that if "smartphone" marketshare stats were no longer produced and only "phone" marketshare stats were made instead, all the operating systems and vendors would suddenly find themselves with a smaller % number than they enjoy today.

I for one would actually prefer such phone stats. How many all mobile phones (which I'd define as "a portable, battery-powered device capable of making cellular voice calls") run Symbian or Android or iOS would be far more interesting than how many of some more-or-less randomly defined sub-set of phones run those systems. :-)
__________________
Check out my sites:
James's Homepage | James's Flickr page

  #10  
Old 19-07-2010, 12:03 PM
ajck ajck is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 175
ajck is on a distinguished road
It's either the definition of the first commenter above, Kazutoyo, in that a smartphone is one that can run 3rd party apps that directly address the OS,

OR there simply is no such thing as a precise definition for a smartphone any more - that the spectrum of phones is much like the light spectrum with one colour merging gradually into another.

I challenge anyone to come up with a different definition that always applies, and I will find you a case where it does not apply, and thus there is no strict definition.

Hardware features certainly are NO indicator whatsoever. And neither are software features. Or design....

Your challenge awaits...

  #11  
Old 19-07-2010, 12:07 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
It's really about how much useful life can be achieved!

Hi Steve,
This was a good history lesson, but at the end there really is only a few necessary abstractions about smartphones that sets it apart from the rest of the market:
- It has all the most advanced software features that can be offered at the time
- It has hardware that sets it at the very top of the market at the time
- the package had enough breathing room in terms of HW and storage to expand so far beyond the original form, that at the end it's nearly unrecognizable to it's original form

So for example:
- 2005, 6630 was a real hit because it contained a real mp3 player, a standard flash card slot, pop-port for my xenon flash (the best phone accessory ever made!!), fast CPU, bluetooth 1.0, UMTS, and a great 1.3MP camera
- 2007, n95-3 and n95 8gb was hit because it combined gps, 5MP camera, had loads of storage, upgraded cpu, upgraded screen resolution, a standard card slot, HSDPA, bluetooth 2.0
- 2010, many of the high end android phones, the iphone 4, and the n8 will stand far beyond the n95 because it will contain upgraded CPU, better camera sensors for HD recording, HSUPA, smarter online AND offline software models, upgraded screen resolution, and (hopefully in the N8 case) enough storage to expand well beyond it's original software

Basically I thought some of the items listed was so menial and terse, that even if the phone hits these definitions, it doesn't make it all that smart - e.g. an iPhone now just wouldn't compare to an iphone 4, because it just seems to hit the end of it's useful life for all intent purposes. On the other hand, I still manage to push my N95 to it's limits and not make it fall over, even though it has neither a touch screen nor a QWERTY. Does that make it not smart for the lack of your items on the list, or does it still make it borderline smart, because it's useful life is is well beyond my contract even though there are much stronger selections? And the N97 did hit all of your items, but it can be labeled as not a smartphone, or a failed attempt to be a smartphone because I've basically have already maxed it out with it's pitiful internal storage and cpu, even though it's still under warranty. Thus the existence of the C6 as a mid-range phone now, which looks vaguely familiar

-Gene

  #12  
Old 19-07-2010, 12:14 PM
jApi NL's Avatar
jApi NL jApi NL is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,146
jApi NL is on a distinguished road
Smile Phone Categories

I'm thinking of categories , more hardware-linked interpreted , like :

Phone : Voice Calling
Phone plus : SMS added
SmartPhone : Web/Internet (Sound and Vision) added
SmarterPhone : Utilities like Camera , FM radio , Full Qwerty , Touch , Digital Compass , GPS , Accelerometer , USB OTG , or specific software like (Quick) Office , etc. added
SmartestPhone : A SmarterPhone , that runs multiple OS's

( The SmarterPhone category could be subdivided in : CameraPhone , FMPhone , QwertyPhone , NaviPhone , TouchPhone , etc. )

These categories avoid critics like my phone cost more . Otherwise there will be a surely failing division like :
Phone / Phone Plus : up to Euro 50.-
SmartPhone : up to Euro 200.-
SmarterPhone : up to Euro 500.-
SmartestPhone : more than Euro 500.-

Regards jApi NL

Last edited by jApi NL; 19-07-2010 at 12:19 PM.

  #13  
Old 19-07-2010, 12:23 PM
Antoine of MMM Antoine of MMM is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 34
Antoine of MMM is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajck View Post
It's either the definition of the first commenter above, Kazutoyo, in that a smartphone is one that can run 3rd party apps that directly address the OS,

OR there simply is no such thing as a precise definition for a smartphone any more - that the spectrum of phones is much like the light spectrum with one colour merging gradually into another.

I challenge anyone to come up with a different definition that always applies, and I will find you a case where it does not apply, and thus there is no strict definition.

Hardware features certainly are NO indicator whatsoever. And neither are software features. Or design....

Your challenge awaits...
It's not rurally much of a challenge. I answered this some time ago on another website:
http://forum.brighthand.com/headline...martphone.html

But, I will agree that supeerphone is not a class of device, nor is it's definition around hardware features or social networking capabilities sufficient enough to validate it.

I will state that a mobile is only as smart as the person that's using it. And depending on the bias of the person, there might not be too many smart folks or their attending devices out there at all.

  #14  
Old 19-07-2010, 12:29 PM
N/A's Avatar
N/A N/A is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 7,948
N/A is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Definition 5b: A smartphone is always connected and can browse the full Internet

So only the N900 is now a smartphone?
It depends on the definition of "can browse the full Internet". If, besides the regular HTML/CSS/JavaScript + key image formats, there are also besides "full" Flash also other technologies (video and audio formats, Java applets/J2SE/JRE, etc.) to account for in order to meet the definition.

One could also argue that "full Internet" browsing would also require the ability to download and update images, videos and other content/files. (Most phone browser allow this only in a very limited fashion.)

The minimum requirement is, IMO, the ability to access "full" HTML/CSS/JavaScript web sites without having to limit yourself to separate "mobile" versions.

However, that isn't often enough in practice as people want to download/upload stuff (files), view also Flash content, stream audio/video format that PCs support but not phones in general, etc.

Things would of course be better, if web site designers stuck with standards and didn't use proprietary technologies such as Flash (or ActiveX, or vendor/browser specific extensions), but that's never going to happen. There's always some new thing by some vendor, which someone wants to take advantage of for good or bad reasons.

  #15  
Old 19-07-2010, 03:42 PM
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Unhappy

Price as an indicator...guys check out this link. Its a complete joke...

http://www.integrontech.com/Nokia-N8...p/nok-n8-o.htm
 

Bookmarks

Tags
defining, smartphone

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A study of Smartphone and Symbian Market Small Device Feedback and Announcements 0 22-05-2004 05:44 AM



All times are GMT. The time now is 08:20 PM.


vBulletin skins developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Notes || Contact Us || Privacy Policy